Starting a Career in Teaching: Everything You Need to Know

So You Want to Be a Teacher

Teaching is a rewarding career, and it is a way to make a real difference in the world. Some people will choose this profession right after school, but it is also a career path that you can change to later on. In fact, the life experiences of those who go to teaching can later in life be a great asset.

What Qualifications Do I Need to Become a Teacher?

The type of qualifications you need for this career will depend on where you want to teach. In order to work in a primary or secondary school, you will need a university degree and the minimum of a C in GCSE English, maths, and a science subject. This will be enough for you to be eligible for the Post Graduate Certificate in Education (PGCE) course – the qualification needed to teach in the UK.

If you wish to teach in a foreign country, you will be able to do this with fewer qualifications than required to teach in the UK. In some parts of the world, you will only need a TEFL certificate (120 hour course) to be able to teach English as a second language.

Are You Suited to Teaching?
In order to determine if you are suited to teaching, you will need some experience of standing in front of a classroom. It is not enough to just be knowledgeable about a subject. Some aspiring teachers are shocked to find that when they enter the classroom, it’s a far more challenging experience than first thought.

teaching career

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In order to determine if you are suited to teaching, it is important to spend some time in a classroom. One way to do this is to offer to give a presentation in a local school on a subject you know well.

Alternatively, if you have any friends who are teachers, they may be willing to allow you to sit in on one of their classes. Working as a teaching assistant would be the perfect way to determine if you are suited to this career. Though it would involve a significant commitment there is no better way to become familiar with the career.

Characteristics of a Good Teacher

A good teacher will usually have some of the following personal characteristics:

  • A genuine interest in helping people to learn.
  • A commitment to life-long learning.
  • A quality teacher will have unwavering patience.
  • They have a natural talent for communication and are able to develop a good rapport with students.
  • They are passionate about their subject.
  • A good teacher is flexible and always willing to change the way they do things if it will help students.
  • They are willing to invest a significant chunk of their time to creating lesson plans and researching topics.

How to Prepare for Your First Lesson

Preparing for your first lesson is usually a nerve-racking experience. This is something you will usually do as part of your training. Hopefully, you will have already picked up some classroom management tools, and this should make things a bit easier. Here are a few ideas for how you can prepare for your first lesson:

  • Create a written lesson plan and use this to structure your lesson.
  • Determine a clear objective for the lesson.
  • Use a variety of resources and strategies to make the lesson more engaging.
  • Have a backup plan.
  • Ask the students lots of questions to assess if they are absorbing the information from the lesson.
  • Try to add a fun element to the lesson.

A career in teaching allows you to shape the future because your students will be taking the skills and knowledge you give to them out into the world, the personal satisfaction from this type of career is unbeatable.

We specialise in finding London teaching jobs for qualified teachers throughout Primary and Secondary schools in London.

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